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Action Alert: Support Petition to Save Malaysia's Belum-Temengor Rainforests

Proposed National Park "Richest of the Rich" in Terms of Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Threatened by Logging

By Forests.org, a project of EcoInternet - May 17, 2006

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Additional Background

Malaysia's magnificent Belum-Temengor rainforests are 130 million year old, making them some of the richest and most ancient rainforests in the world. Located in Perak state along the Thailand border of Peninsular Malaysia, Belum-Temengor's 300,000 hectares of ancient rainforest consists of the Royal Belum State Park (but not officially gazetted) and the Temengor Forest Reserve (as a 'Forest Reserve' not totally protected). Belum Temengor rainforests are a world-class wilderness with tremendous ecological, aesthetic and economic values including immense tourism potential. Sadly, this large and intact life-sustaining ancient rainforest marvel is now under threat from both legal and illegal industrial logging.

Malaysia is one of 12 "mega-diversity" countries, placing Belum-Temengor amongst the "richest of the rich" biological resources on the planet. Belum-Temengor's rainforests provide the last refuge for at least 14 globally threatened mammals including the Sumatran rhino, the Malayan tiger, the Asian elephant, tapirs and leopards. This is the only place in Malaysia where all 10 of Malaysia’s hornbills are found, flying in flocks of more than 2,000, something not found anywhere else in the world. It is home to various species of flora - from the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, to the Cycads, the oldest plants on earth. Belum-Temengor is a cachment area for major rivers in Perak, and home to tremendous cultural diversity including the Orang Asli indigenous peoples.

Despite rising wealth and environmental sensibilities, Malaysia still continues the low value and unsustainable practice of industrially logging their and others' ancient rainforests. This type of poorly conceived industrial development is highly damaging to Belum-Temengor and its ability to continue providing critical local, regional and global ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water cachment, and maintaining wildlife and biodiversity while continuing local sustainable uses and business opportunities. Belum-Temengor rainforests are critical to the ecology, economy and security of the Malaysian nation. Continuous logging will lead to loss of wildlife and plant species, fouling of water and river siltation, and foreclose more long-term benefits flowing from these unique intact rainforests, which are growing increasingly scarce across Asia.

Please respectfully support local initiatives to have Belum-Temengor declared a National Park - Malaysia's strictest type of forest protection - and an end to logging in order to pursue eco-tourism and other ecologically based and sustainable economic development opportunities. Specifically, the alert below asks that the Malaysian government immediately stop all logging activities in the area in order to: gazette the Royal Belum State Park, extend the Royal Belum State Park to include the Temengor Forest Reserve, and develop a management plan based upon local-small scale ecologically based uses. Malaysians are justifiably a fiercely proud people that may be offended if not addressed courteously. Your email will be sent to local conservationists in order to sign their petition to protect the area, as well as to Malaysia's government, media and tourism authorities through numerous channels.

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Hornbill from Malaysian rainforests
Vast hornbill flocks deserve a place to live as well!  (link)

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